DONALDSONVILLE — City Council members have ironed out a plan that would give municipal employees a pay raise for the first time in five years.
However, councilmen altered a proposed plan by the city administration to do so, choosing a merit-based system rather than an across-the-board increase.
Finance Director Sandra Williams originally presented a plan that would give each employee a $1 per hour pay raise, for an annual cost of $74,530.
Councilman Charles Brown Sr. said during Tuesday evening’s council meeting he thought her proposal was not fair. He added that he felt some city employees deserved more of a raise, based on their respective efforts.
“For the work these people have done, I don’t think a $1 per hour raise is fair,” he said.
After discussion of the issue, council members chose to instead allocate the suggested funding for raises. From there, Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. would use individual performance evaluations to determine raise amounts.
Williams said the money would come from three city departmental funds — $53,667 from the city’s Natural Gas Department, $19,343 from the city’s general fund, and $1,520 from the Sewer Department.
City Attorney Chuck Long said he would draft an ordinance for the fund allocation for review before the council’s next committee of the whole meeting.
Other issues considered by the council included:
BAYOU LAFOURCHE: The council unanimously adopted a resolution asking the state’s Department of Transportation and Development to help with water flow concerns along Bayou Lafourche.
The move comes after a recent meeting on the matter attended by city representatives and officials of Ascension Parish government, Union Pacific Railroad and the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District.
The freshwater district recently completed the first phase of a dredging project aimed at improving freshwater flow into the bayou’s lower reaches, the mayor said. The work deepened the bayou from its mouth in Donaldsonville down to Belle Rose.
“Every time there’s a hurricane, there’s an issue of getting fresh water down the bayou,” Sullivan said.
However, the mayor said that the dredging created a bottleneck and increased water flow through Donaldsonville, which is causing flooding issues along La. 308 and La. 1 during rain events.
“If you look at it like a cup, we’re right at the brim of overflowing,” Sullivan said.
The resolution asks DOTD to provide funding to help alleviate the water flow and flooding concerns in all affected parishes, Sullivan said.
“There are issues that need to be addressed, and we’re just trying to get everyone on board,” Sullivan said.